Riverside, California 2021-05-05 20:44:19 –
Austin — Controversial legislation that would have a financial impact on companies operating low-level radioactive waste storage sites in remote areas of western Texas is the procedural expertise of the State Capitol. Derailed on Wednesday.
Knockdown operation House building 2692 It short-circuited what was expected to be a bohemian floor debate over whether the bill would provide a back door to bring the most dangerous waste from abolished nuclear power plants to Texas.
Republican Brooks Landgraf, a legislative author representing the site in Andrews County, claimed to explicitly ban such waste from Texas. And he said it was “mysterious” that everyone would interpret it in other ways.
“We want to make sure that safety is a top priority … not only the facility, but (waste) is transported to the facility,” Landgraf said before the bill was abandoned.
The law was designed to allow Waste management specialist, The company that operates the Andrews County site, a break in additional fees and fees imposed by the state on the income received to dispose of waste. The company said it needed a break to stay competitive in the face of out-of-state competition.
But even before the bill was brought to the house floor, it was the subject of intense lobbying on behalf of the company and by the power to defeat it.
Some kind of bizarre alliance, some environmental groups that oppose additional charges and reductions in charges, have been funded to ensure that the dump site is permanently safe and drilling energy. Has joined active oil and gas stakeholders in the rich Permian Basin, including Andrews County.
Fasken Oil and Ranch, a family-owned company that is one of the largest private landowners in Andrews County, has conducted an intensive campaign through a non-profit organization called “Not Our Trash” in several Texas. I put up a TV ad in the market against the bill.
In a news release announcing an advertising campaign, the group called waste management specialists a private waste company and urged them to “unravel good laws” that have been on the books for over a decade to reduce fees and surcharges. ing”.
“By breaking important safety regulations and dumping radioactive waste into open pit mines, they are blind to pollutants that can be carried by the wind to rangelands, ranches, farmlands, and our communities. “Masu,” said Fasken Executive Tommy. Taylor is also the president of a non-profit organization.
In a statement to the USA TODAY network, Dave Carlson, chief operating officer of waste management specialists, said such claims misrepresented what the law would do.
“The bill does not change the safety of the facility, which is the most robust low-level waste facility ever built,” said Carlson. “Existing legislation puts Texas facilities at an overwhelming competitive disadvantage to our major competitors. Finding another company in this or other state that pays 31% of its income with taxes. Will be difficult. “
Karen Hadden Director Sustainable Energy and Economic Development Union, Called the bill a “nuclear Trojan horse.”
“Open it and you’ll see that the ban on high-level radioactive waste is at first glance written and doesn’t work. It doubles the amount of waste allowed, weakens state regulations, and states of money. Will fool you. You need to get rid of the confusion. ”
The Andrews County site treats low-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and other facilities. But when Landgraf began explaining the bill to the House of Representatives, from the X-rays used in clinics and dental offices in almost every community in Texas, to the materials used in manufacturing, as well as oil and gas. He said he would also receive radioactive material from the excavation. ..
Nevertheless, he acknowledged the concerns of opponents of the bill and promised to revise some of its provisions on the fly to mitigate them.
However, Congressman Tom Cladick, the longest serving member of Midland’s leading house in the heart of the Permian Basin, is pending with the Federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission to build and operate a high-level waste facility in Andrews. Mentioned the application of a waste management specialist in Japan. county.
A federal permit is likely to outweigh the state’s ban on such waste, Cladick told Landgraf shortly before pointing out a procedural flaw that upset the bill. In short, an official bill analysis that explained the bill details to the House of Representatives turned out to be misleading and missing important details. That is, House rules prevented members from discussing or voting on it.
It was not immediately clear whether the House bill would come back and be considered, perhaps in the last four weeks of the 2021 legislative assembly. A similar measure is pending in the Senate, but it has been removed from the Chamber of Commerce agenda. This indicates that there are not enough votes to consider for the debate.
John C. Moritz is responsible for Texas Government and Politics at the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo..
Bill to cut fees for Texas radioactive waste dump operator is derailed Source link Bill to cut fees for Texas radioactive waste dump operator is derailed